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Stones Older Guinea Pig with Bladder Stones Needs Surgery

romeopig

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Hi all,

I got home from work today and noticed my pig Romeo was making terrible noises like he was in a lot of pain. I took him out and noticed he was peeing out blood. I immediately took him to the vet and they gave him an xray and discovered he has a stone :( They gave him some pain medication but he's still making noises like he's hurting a lot and it's terrible. Apparently the stone has been there for a while but this is the first time he's ever been visibily in pain!

A little back story on Romeo - I got him in October from someone who owned him for POSSIBLY 4 years and didn't take that great care of him - they actually didn't even know. I'm estimating he's between 5-6 years old, which i know is older.

I'm reading a lot of posts about this surgery and it sounds like a lot of older pigs can die from it. Romeo sounds like he's in so much pain that I feel like I should go through with it, but is the success rate really that good for older pigs? Anyone have any experiences they can share with me? I need to give a decision tomorrow for him to go in on Monday. It's a lot of money but he's definitely in pain and I feel like this is the best thing to do, but I'd just like a second opinion from all of you.
 

bpatters

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If he's in otherwise good health, he should do ok. As surgeries go, it's not terribly long or complicated, and the recovery time is pretty quick. I'd certainly have it done, with the caveat that I'd want a good exotic surgeon with plenty of experience in cystotomies.

You'll need to aggressively control his calcium intake after the surgery so the stone won't recur. What exactly have you been feeding him (hay, pellets, veggies), and how much of each item.
 

romeopig

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i've been feeding him 1/8 cup of oxbow pellets a day, usually about a cup of lettuce (butter lettuce or red leaf lettuces), a little cilantro and maybe a baby carrot 2-3 times a week. i've tried other veggies low in calcium and he's so picky :-/ he won't even touch bell peppers. I give him unlimited hay as well. He's actually been doing very well with eating, this came as a huge surprise
 

bpatters

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Well, Oxbow pellets have been implicated in stones in some pigs. Some pigs show a LOT of calcium in the urine when eating Oxbow, others do not. I'd suggest changing him to KMS Hayloft pellets -- they have a different calcium source than Oxbow, and pigs switched from Oxbow to KMS usually show a marked decrease in the amount of urinary calcium. I'd also cut out the cilantro. It's not particularly high in calcium itself, but my pigs excrete a lot of calcium if they're fed cilantro.

If he won't eat peppers, he absolutely needs a vitamin C supplement. A lack of vitamin C can also contribute to stone formation. I have a stone pig, and I give an Oxbow Daily C tablet every day. You can use human plain vitamin C, though -- crush it and sprinkle it on the veggies, or grind it finely, make slurry with water, and syringe it to him.

You can teach him to eat different foods by picking one, mincing it very finely, and sprinkling it on his pellets. He'll get enough by accident to get accustomed to the taste, and then you can feed it in larger quantities and start mincing another one.

Here's a chart that gives you the nutritional values of various foods: https://www.guineapigcages.com/foru...vy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List.
 

Rywen

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I don't know anything about stones but I hope Romeo makes a full recovery!
 

Nefashu

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All the best for romeo. Keep posting about his evolution and pay attention to Bpatters info. Hugs!!!!
 

romeopig

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Thanks everyone! His surgery is scheduled for June 9th and he's on pain and anti-inflammatory medication until then.
 

totoro

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Good luck for the surgery, hope all goes well.
 

romeopig

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Quick update: still waiting for the surgery. He's on medication and has been doing well, but today when I got home he was making his pained noises again :( I was home 2 hours late today because of work and am hoping maybe the time difference in when I gave the medication doses is the reason. I just bottle fed him water and sat with him feeding hay for a bit and he seems to have calmed down - I haven't heard him make the pained noise in the last 30 minutes. Poor baby - I hate hearing him in so much pain!! I don't feel comfortable giving him more meloxicam since i already give him .15 twice a day.

I've put him on a low calcium diet (raddichio, red leaf lettuce, occasional cucumber and carrot) and he has started eating green bell peppers! i've rationed his oxbow down to 1/16th cup a day until the new pellets arrive and, as always, given him fresh water and unlimited hay. His poops are smaller, but I guess that's to be expected when making the pellet servings smaller. He is peeing without any blood. Any other advice? Should I stop his pellets entirely?
 

romeopig

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Back from surgery - doing well!!! he's eating veggies again and i'm giving him a little less critical care every day. he's on a low calcium diet and seems to be getting back to himself. they did an EXCELLENT job - i would recommend South Wilton Vet to anyone who lives in the Fairfield/Westchester county area!!
 

Rywen

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That's excellent news!
 

jayval

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Well, Oxbow pellets have been implicated in stones in some pigs. Some pigs show a LOT of calcium in the urine when eating Oxbow, others do not. I'd suggest changing him to KMS Hayloft pellets -- they have a different calcium source than Oxbow, and pigs switched from Oxbow to KMS usually show a marked decrease in the amount of urinary calcium. I'd also cut out the cilantro. It's not particularly high in calcium itself, but my pigs excrete a lot of calcium if they're fed cilantro.

If he won't eat peppers, he absolutely needs a vitamin C supplement. A lack of vitamin C can also contribute to stone formation. I have a stone pig, and I give an Oxbow Daily C tablet every day. You can use human plain vitamin C, though -- crush it and sprinkle it on the veggies, or grind it finely, make slurry with water, and syringe it to him.

You can teach him to eat different foods by picking one, mincing it very finely, and sprinkling it on his pellets. He'll get enough by accident to get accustomed to the taste, and then you can feed it in larger quantities and start mincing another one.

Here's a chart that gives you the nutritional values of various foods: https://www.guineapigcages.com/foru...vy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List.

This is so helpful! I was feeding my pig oxbow pellets, and now im wondering if that caused the stone.....I just had to put him down 2 days ago, and he was only 3! But the bladder was so full, and they urethra blocked, the vet did not believe he would make it thru surgery....It was a very difficult decision for me...
 

pinky

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This is so helpful! I was feeding my pig oxbow pellets, and now im wondering if that caused the stone.....I just had to put him down 2 days ago, and he was only 3! But the bladder was so full, and they urethra blocked, the vet did not believe he would make it thru surgery....It was a very difficult decision for me...

Some guinea pigs have a genetic predisposition to stone formation so it's hard to say what caused the stone he had. The only way to know for sure is to have a stone analyzed after it's removed. Follow the diet and nutrition charts to plan a menu that has the recommended Ca:p ratio. Keep pellet intake to no more 1/8 cup a day. What's your source of drinking water? Hard water contains a lot of minerals which can lead to stones. I have a private well so I give my guinea pigs bottled water which we also drink. You can use a filtering system to filter your tap water to reduce the mineral content, as well.
 

jayval

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Some guinea pigs have a genetic predisposition to stone formation so it's hard to say what caused the stone he had. The only way to know for sure is to have a stone analyzed after it's removed. Follow the diet and nutrition charts to plan a menu that has the recommended Ca:p ratio. Keep pellet intake to no more 1/8 cup a day. What's your source of drinking water? Hard water contains a lot of minerals which can lead to stones. I have a private well so I give my guinea pigs bottled water which we also drink. You can use a filtering system to filter your tap water to reduce the mineral content, as well.

My brother in law has owned a lot of pigs, and mentioned the same thing to me, that once he moved to another state he had bad luck with stones and his pigs, and believes it was the water...We have regular public, not sewer...We do have a filter that filters the water out of our fridge, but I was giving him tap water!! Ugh....So next pig, I should use filtered?? Also, Im just learning now, I think I was giving him too many pellets, I would leave maybe a little less then half a cup in the his bowl for the day....I was so good with him, but now Im started to doubt myself....Definite a lesson learned for next time...I really miss him! This was so heartbreaking for us...
 

pigger123

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All adult pigs should only get 1/8 cup of pellets per day, preferably KMS pellets if they're prone to developing stones. Giving them filtered water is a good idea.
 

jayval

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I always used oxbow, so for a piggy in the future, is it worth it to change to KMS....I would have to get that delivered I guess...Oxbow is sold my my house
 

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